July 2006
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What time is it?

Please do not say Chico Time. This is possibly the worst jet lag I’ve ever had, and it’s probably because we had the smoothest journey ever. The plane landed early, our luggage got tagged priority (hooray for bmi silver status) and there was no line for car rental (plus, we got a PT cruiser which made me very happy!). We got to the house just after 2pm local time, 2 hours early but fortunately it was ready.

Being the party animals that we are, we didn’t waste any time before running straight out to Food 4 Less and filled a trolley. Then we came back and fell asleep – the one slight drawback to staying out in the suburbs is that it actually takes a bit of effort to go to where the action is, and I didn’t really want to be driving back like a zombie. (After three weeks you know we’re going to appreciate not living in a casino though.) So by 2am I was pretty much wide awake. We figured this would be a good time to scope out the Rio and make sure we were registered for our WSOP events. I’ve already moaned about just how smoothly my pre-registration didn’t go, and Claire still hadn’t heard what day she was starting on from William Hill.

The long walk through the Rio casino to the Convention Center (there are apparently closer places to park, but I haven’t found them yet) was deathly quiet in the wee hours. Nothing too surprising really, but it was the perfect opportunity for some touristy photo ops whilst nobody was around 🙂

There was some action going on in the massive card room but the place is much bigger than I could have ever imagined and I still can’t comprehend just what it’s going to be like when it’s full. The preregistration desk was pretty well organised really – everything was waiting for both of us in an envelope and we just had to show a Harrah’s Total Rewards Card to collect it, and then we got issued with new special WSOP players cards. Pretty cool. The seat allocations are already done (I’m table 144, seat 2) and we also got a $10 food coupon for some of the Rio restaurants. Sadly the Gaylord Indian is not one of them 🙁

Because nothing else was really going on at the Rio – all the suites and stalls were shut – we decided to go and find the cheapest breakfast we could. Figuring we’d have enough comp left at Terribles we stopped there to discover that the players card had changed and we needed to get new ones, but the players club was closed. We’ll do that some other time then. Off to Sams Town where I find I have about $10 in comp left on my card and Claire has much more. I get the steak and eggs special and Claire has ham and eggs, and the total bill comes to 81c after the points are wiped off my card. That’s just about cheap enough for a start…!

After feeding the video poker machines for a bit we headed to the Strat in time for the 9am tournament, but the sportsbook is being redeveloped, meaning the poker room has been shoved off into a little corner with just four tables in it. There was not a soul in there either, so we moved on. In fact, we couldn’t find a game at all. Imperial Palace had just one guy sitting at a table with a stack of chips looking lonely and Flamingo had only one NL table, which was full. Tried the MGM, thinking that if there’s nothing happening there then there’s not going to be much joy anywhere this time of the morning. It was pretty dead, so we came back to the house for a swim…

The pool here is awesome. It’s about twice the size of the one at the house we stayed in last year. The deep end is deep enough for me to barely stand and it’s long enough that I can actually swim lengths. As I thought, Google Earth was one house out.

Still don’t know what time it is though. I’ve had two breakfasts (if you count pop tarts before we went out the first time) and a lunch and it’s still early afternoon.

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